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Post L5-S1 Microdiscectomy

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I am seven days post L5-S1 microdiscectomy. I am new to the board and have read many of the members experiences witch have been a tremendous help.

I had a herniated disc with scatica in my right leg. Conservative treatments did not help, so my doc suggested the surgery.

My right leg is in more pain now than before the surgery, it is really disappointing and scary. From my left waist wrapping around to my right bum and down the leg is painful, numb and I limp just to get around.

Is this the nerves healing? I have read so many posts saying their leg pain was gone almost immediately.

I have an appointment this Friday and hope to find out more. Still on 10-325 percecet every three hours and Flexeril every 8 hours, I was hoping to reduce the medication, but have not been able to due to the pain.

Any one had the pain worsen? Any comments appreciated.




  • Everyone is different when it comes to recovery nad 7 days is very soon after.

    That being said, I had almost immediate relief on my first surgery, but I damaged the disks more and created a trmendous amount of scar tissue because I did NOT listen to either my doc or my own body and way overdid it...... I was in a worse condition 5 months later and had a 4-level fusion.

    I guess what I am saying, is yes, it may just be nerves and the area healing and putting pressure on the nerve roots, or, you may be over doing it too early in recovery.

    Talk to your docs and surgeons and make sure they know what you are feeling, when, and what makes it better or worse.

    Best Wishes
  • Karen: Your story sounds just like mine. I had a discectomy (left side) on L5-S1 back on 8/5/01 and when I woke up after surgery I was still in pain and 3 days later it was much worse than before surgery. I called my neuro and he had me go to the ER where they did another MRI which showed there wwas a disc fragment under the nerve so that night I was back in surgery for another discectomy. This time when I woke up I was pain free and remained that way for 5 years until the pain came back in the other leg. I am now dealing with the same pain all over again (that's another story). I think when you see your Dr. it might be a good idea to have another MRI just to make sure nothing else is going on. Dava
  • Hi Karen,

    It is still very early in your recovery.
    Everyone is different of course.
    For my L5-S1 surgery, the 2nd and 3rd weeks were sheer hell. I thought the worst things, thought for sure I had re-herniated(it hadn't) etc. etc.

    After 6 weeks of pain I went in for an injection in the left foramen. It really helped the nerve root calm down. It was explained to me my complete lack of post-op PT and lots of edema was causing compression on the nerve root.

    How long did you have the herniation/compression on the nerve?

    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • I'm having the same problem. I could've written almost exactly what you did, but my surgery was on the 16th. My pain/sensation is also worse, and when I talked to my doc, he said my nerve looked inflamed during the surgery, and because it had been so long since my injury, that it may take awhile for this to heal. The PA I talked to said she hears similar complaints in about 50% of people who've had this surgery, but that the pain significantly subsides usually after 5-6 weeks and with physio. In the last 3 or so weeks, I generally felt better everyday, but had a bad flair up this last weekend. Thankfully, I'm already feeling better and am back to walking and all. I hope your pain subsides soon. If you've got any more questions, shoot me a PM or find me in chat. I'm in and out throughout the day/night.
    Good luck, Karen.
  • I had l4/l5 & l5/s1 disc, on 7/11/08, was going well until I slipped getting into the car coming from a DR visit, which was just this pas Thursday the 31st which really flared the right side up bad. Have pain from the right hip down to the knee. Had a friend who had the same surgery, and within 3 weeks was feeling great and not another complaint from him.

    So unfortunately we're all different and we all just don't heal instantly. Wish we did, cause I am READY to over this pain!

    Hope you get to feeling better very soon.

  • Thanks everyone for your comments...

    I woke up one day in March unable to walk with severe pain. By the time the MRI was ordered we found out it was herniated early April. So it was 4+ months ago.

    I know it is early in my recovery and I did not expect it to be easy but I did not think the leg pain would be so severe. I am resting, and trying to do laps around my kitchen/living room as much as I can tolerate, but the leg gets sooo weak after 5 minutes of walking.

    Oh well, trying to be positive and hope for the best!!!!

    Thanks again!
  • Sorry you are in such pain :/

    I had a microdisc/double laminec on my l4/5.. The doctor insisted the double laminec was necessary (taking bone off from both sides of the disc) because my herniation was so large he had to give my back enough room for swelling after the surgery... He said that if he didnt take off bone on both sides then he might not be able to get every last piece of the herniation cleaned out and that if it swelled too large i would have a lot of pain and another surgery might be necessary.. so he just wanted to do it all in one go. I had SEVERE stenosis on this disc though, my spinal canal was squished to basicalyl nothing because of this herniation which isd why he wanted to give me all the extra room he could.

    Well, besides my lower back pain (which i didnt have pre-surgery, so i assume its from the operation itself and the muscles and stuff healing) my leg pains are gone and i can walk again for more than 5 minutes at a time!

    The first 2 weeks were the WORST for me though. Although my leg pain totally gone i had severe back pain around the inscision like someone kicking me hard there everytime i tried to move..

    Sounds like you are swelling (which is normal after surgery) and its compressing your nerves the same way the herniation did before.. talk to your doc though and see what can be done about this..
  • Just saw my PA today and she said she thinks it is swelling but seemed pretty concered about it, she said leg pain after this is very unusual. She wanted me to start taking steroids but I have a bad reaction to them so she prescribed naparsyn instead. I have to see the NS next week. They said it was too soon after surgery to do another MRI, they want to wait and see how this medicine does....

    So hopefully it is just swelling and will go down soon!

    If not I guess I am going to have another MRI and go from there.....

    Thanks for your help!!
  • Glad to hear you are getting the MRI - keep in touch and let us know how it goes.
  • Ill keep you in my thoughts and wishing you all the luck in the world.

    Best Wishes,
    Christina :)
  • Thanks everyone for your comments and thoughts...

    Saw my NS on Thursday. He said the leg pain could be due to swelling (like the PA said), but the anti inflamitory meds did not help, re-herniation, bone fragements or just a bad disc from the herniation and degenerative diesese.

    So an MRI is needed, waiting for the pre-auth. Hopefully it will be clear and it is just swelling.

    I was soooooooo hoping I would be feeling good by now. What stinks is if I can't go back to work by September I loose my job. I have been off for 4 months already, they have been very patient.

    Have any of you considered disability benefits? I heard it is a nightmare to get approved.

    SO STRESSED!!!!! and SAD.... =(
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